Legion FC Earns Draw on the Road at Louisville City FC
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham Legion FC went on the road to take on perennially one of the best teams in the USL Championship on Saturday night and came away with a hard-earned draw to pick up its first point of the young 2021 season.
Louisville started the match on the front foot, earning a few corner kicks in the first two or three minutes of play, and that early pressure led to a LouCity goal in the 3rd minute. Midfielder Brian Ownby swung the corner in and found rightback Pat McMahon whose header found the back of the net. The goal was Louisville's third of the season in two games, with all three goals coming from set pieces.
The visitors settled into the match nicely after the opening five minutes, eventually accumulating more shots than the home side by the halftime whistle. Legion FC then bagged its first goal of the season, courtesy of forward Neco Brett from the penalty spot, in the 59th minute. After a great ball in behind from midfielder Jaden Servania, Brett cut back and was taken down in the box by McMahon. Louisville's 'keeper, Chris Hubbard, saved the first penalty try, but a retake was awarded after the ref correctly whistled Hubbard for coming off his line to make the save, and Brett calmly buried the second attempt.
The match was hard-fought from start to extended finish, thanks to an added 12 minutes of stoppage time, as evidenced by Louisville being called for 15 fouls, and earning five yellow cards, and Legion FC being whistled for 10 fouls themselves. Midfielder Anderson Asiedu was all over the pitch and finished joint-top for Legion with three tackles and two interceptions on his way to winning the fan-voted poll for Man of the Match. Recent signing Ben Ofeimu was immense in his first game action in the Legion colors, leading the team with seven clearances to go along with his three tackles and two interceptions, and goalkeeper Matt VanOekel pulled out a couple monstrous saves towards the end of the night to preserve the point for his side.
"This second game we've definitely made strides from the first one; again, I think the field had a lot to do with that," said Legion FC Head Coach Tommy Soehn. "I think we grew into the game, we also had moments where I felt like we still have to improve on keeping the ball and playing without panicking and dumping the ball long. I think that's something that, once we have our core together regularly, I think we'll have to grow into. I was real proud of the effort the guys put forward today. It was collective, everybody battled and competed. It's tough going down that early and they found a way to come back and compete and at least come out of here with a point."
Asiedu when asked about his role on the team this season and if he tries to lead by example:
"For sure, for sure. I just want to go out there and be a leader. I just want my play to speak for me. I've given everything for Birmingham and this team means a lot to me. Birmingham gave me my shot, after leaving Atlanta [in 2019], so when I put on this jersey it means a lot to me. This year my role is to lead by example, be a good teammate, work hard and play hard day in and day out, and that's how I'm going to be successful on and off the field.
I need to just make sure I'm leading by example, being disciplined on the field, helping the young guys and new guys we have here to help them get acclimated and feel comfortable. That's my role. We have a good squad, and just want to build. I let me football talk for me and try to lead. I just want to lead the guys around me, keep it going, keep enjoying it and enjoying each other, and I think we can have a great year this year."
Game One 1st Half 2nd Half
BHM 0 1
LOU 1 0
LOU - 3' - #15 Pat McMahon (assisted by #13 Corben Bone)
BHM - 59' - #11 Neco Brett (P)
BHM - #1 Matt VanOekel; #24 Jonny Dean, #22 Ben Ofeimu, #3 Phanuel Kavita ©, #7 Ryan James; #5 Mikey Lopez (74' - #12 Eli Crognale), #6 Anderson Asiedu; #17 Jaden Servania (90+1' - Marcos Ugarte), #8 Bruno Lapa, #10 Prosper Kasim (78' - #13 Jake Rufe); #11 Neco Brett
LOU - #1 Chris Hubbard; #42 Jonathan Gomez, #4 Sean Totsch, #3 Alexis Souahy, #15 Pat McMahon (72' - #11 Niall McCabe); #8 Akil Watts, #13 Corben Bone, #36 Paolo DelPiccolo (90+2' - #12 Tyler Gibson); #7 Napo Matsoso, #17 Cameron Lancaster, #29 Antoine Hoppenot (29' - #10 Brian Ownby)
Legion returns home next weekend to take on rivals Memphis 901 FC on Saturday, May 15.
Get your tickets today, or tune in to watch the match on My68 or ESPN+!
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United Soccer League Championship Stories from May 8, 2021
- San Antonio FC Extends Unbeaten Home Streak to 15 Regular Season Matches with 2-2 Draw - San Antonio FC
- Rowdies Knock off Pittsburgh 3-0 - Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Legion FC Earns Draw on the Road at Louisville City FC - Birmingham Legion FC
- Raucous Crowd Sees LouCity Draw Birmingham Legion FC - Louisville City FC
- Real Monarchs Earn 2-2 Draw in Season Opener at San Antonio FC - Real Monarchs SLC
- Pair of Second Half Concessions Puts Damper on Return to Carroll Stadium - Indy Eleven
- Rivas' Brace Powers FC Tulsa past Indy - FC Tulsa
- Hounds Drop Opener at Tampa Bay, 3-0 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Hartford Blanks Miami 1-0 for Second Win of the Season - Hartford Athletic
- Tacoma Defiance Opens 2021 USL Championship Campaign on Sunday at LA Galaxy II - Tacoma Defiance
- Season Openers a Mixed Bag Through Hounds History - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Goalkeeper Connor Sparrow Named to USL Championship Team of the Week - Miami FC
- Oakland Roots SC at Phoenix Rising FC Match Notes - Oakland Roots
- Manchester City Academy Product, USL Eastern Conference Champion Joins Memphis 901 FC - Memphis 901 FC
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